Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 55

Thread: FEATURED CD - Happy The Man The Muse Awakens

  1. #1
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    1,222

    FEATURED CD - Happy The Man The Muse Awakens



    Per my favorite reviewer:

    Muse:
    1 Capitalized : any of the nine sister goddesses in Greek mythology presiding over song and poetry and the arts and sciences
    2 : A source of inspiration; especially : a guiding genius
    3 : Poet

    - - Merriam Webster


    The Muse on this CD is indeed poetic, a source of inspiration, a guiding genius. And after a 20+ year slumber, the muse has indeed awoken and delivered a CD that is as fresh and as vibrant as Happy The Man's self-titled debut in 1977.

    The band was formed on a US Army base in Germany in mid-1972 and released just official albums during their 7-year existence. Then, inspired by one of the reunions that is becoming common in progressive music, they went back into the studio and produced The Muse Awakens - a wonderful intersection of classical classical arrangements, jazz chords and Cantebury-styled progressive music's symphonic melodies. Happy The Man's music is complex and intricate yet it never loses sight of its strong melodic themes.

    Over its 56 minutes the 11 songs flow from upbeat and pleasant to dreamy and reflective to quirky and fun. With the a fluency born of stellar musicianship, each track flows through shifts in time signatures and keys and tempos and moods - always moving, always complex, yet never overwhelming. It's hard to pick a standout track, but mini-epic "Il Quinto Mare" may be the best piece by a close margin, followed by the humorous and quirky "Barking Spiders" and "Lunch At The Psychedelicatessen". Besides the standard rock ensemble there are significant contributions from tenor and alto saxes, clarinet and flute. Every track is tight and composed and there isn't a hint of jamming. It is purely instrumental except for one song with relaxed mid-quality vocals

    Despite all the sophisticated complexity on The Muse Awakens, the melodies and the moods reign supreme - which is why this album will find equal appeal among afficionados of sophisticated structures, and those simply looking for an old fashioned damned good listen.

    Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
    Score: 4.5 Stars
    This - and 2 other reviews - here:
    http://www.seaoftranquility.org/revi...ontent&id=1765





    Regards,

    Duncan

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Redding,Ca
    Posts
    126
    Those are the best and rockiest tunes on it. I wish it had more with that energy,but, what a great album and comeback even if it didn't last. Oblivion Sun to me is HTM under a new name.

  3. #3
    Very much appreciated their willingness to release new material after such a long absence.. only downside for me was not being able to see them play any of this stuff live..

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    Very much appreciated their willingness to release new material after such a long absence.. only downside for me was not being able to see them play any of this stuff live..
    I had the opposite experience; I saw nearly every reunion show they did over those first few years and the new material sounded utterly fantastic alongside the older tunes. The album seemed to take a terribly long time to come out and when it finally did...it was great to have copies of those tunes but I thought they were stronger, less "polite" in a live setting.

    PURELY personal opinion, you understand...given that there was practically little/no chance the band would reunite for many years, the fact that they returned at all AND released an album is fantastic.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  5. #5
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Fluffy Cloud
    Posts
    4,069
    LONG time fan here.

    this is all imo:

    Quite good album.

    Great to incredible live shows. I probably didn't see as many as John 'the beast' Battema, but I saw at least half a dozen.

    They spent too long on the album and 'tweezed & waxed it' more than they probably should have to keep the energy intact. I saw their final show (at Progday) where they played the entire album and it was really strong and great & had more life and spirit than the album versions of the same tunes.

    Still, a good album.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    LONG time fan here.

    this is all imo:

    Quite good album.

    Great to incredible live shows. I probably didn't see as many as John 'the beast' Battema, but I saw at least half a dozen.

    They spent too long on the album and 'tweezed & waxed it' more than they probably should have to keep the energy intact. I saw their final show (at Progday) where they played the entire album and it was really strong and great & had more life and spirit than the album versions of the same tunes.

    Still, a good album.
    Never have seen any of those shows posted on sites where I listen to ROIO.. are there shows out there from this reunion time period?

  7. #7
    I *thought* that the band had professionally recorded one or two of the shows for a release at some point (if true, those plans are long since scuttled).

    A live track from the reunion appeared on a limited-run ProgDay benefit CD a few years back...'Service with a Smile' if memory serves.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  8. #8
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northeast Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    820
    The first Oblivion Sun album is as good as Crafty Hands. The Muse Awakens was good, but mainly as a reason to get the band performing live again, as others have said. I only saw the Nearfest show and it was one of the best concerts I've seen. Ron Riddle was a monster drummer!

  9. #9
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    West of Worcester (Western Massachusetts)
    Posts
    732
    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    Never have seen any of those shows posted on sites where I listen to ROIO.. are there shows out there from this reunion time period?
    I have the Orion show. Double disc. It rocks, as did their performance at Nearfest. If you can't find the Orion show on a torrent site, PM me.

  10. #10
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Left Coast
    Posts
    1,725
    I like this album, though when listening to it I can't help but feel they're referencing themselves. I do wish they could have held it together longer, though.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    I like this album, though when listening to it I can't help but feel they're referencing themselves. I do wish they could have held it together longer, though.
    Yeah I got a bit of that as well.. and as others have already mentioned the Oblivion Sun material has been great thus far.. (although I could have stood for a few more minutes of music on the last release The High Places)

  12. #12
    Member Just Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Marin County, California
    Posts
    84
    For me this album was a little to clean and polished. Sounded radio friendly if that makes any sense. But heck, I liked it .... not much spinning nowadays though.
    Duncan's going to make a Horns Emoticon!!!

  13. #13
    Love it. Not quite "Crafty Hands", but signature HTM nonetheless! Stan's singing sometimes gets a bad rap, but I personally love his style and it fits perfectly in their music. I'm very much influenced musically by these guys!
    Coming September 1st - "Dean Watson Revisited"!

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Bloomington Minn, USA
    Posts
    246
    A much anticipated reunion upon hearing the rumors of a reunion, and having Joe Bergamini joining them as drummer made the news even more gooder. Love most of the cd, and like most others wish for more, Oblivion Sun and Pedal Giant Animals have complimented the HTM stuff quite nicely.

  15. #15
    I have only heard the Muse Awakens material in a live setting, but it blended in with the band’s “classic” material perfectly; more of that classic HTM sound can only be a good thing. My only complaint, and it’s a minor one, is that Dan Rosenthal was a bit too slavish to Kit’s playing style; he pulled off doing his Moog runs expertly, but if we’re to have fresh blood in HTM, I was kind of hoping for the new players to infuse it with their own unique style, rather than copying off of someone else’s. Oh well, if I want something from HTM guys going into a bit of a different direction, there’s always the Oblivion Sun albums.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  16. #16
    Member eporter66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    166
    I really like "The Muse Awakens", and I am really happy that OS and the Pedal Giant Animals project have kept the music out there. I also wish the reunion could have lasted longer, but at least it happened. I read a few interviews with Stan, and he seemed to have a bit of resentment (maybe the wrong word) towards the HTM reunion at the end. I remember reading that he felt confined, the music was too structured and not enough room for improv? Maybe I am wrong, or took his words the wrong way. I guess I was just surprised to hear that from him. I thought Rosenthal did a great job, but it would be nice to have Mr Watkins make an guest appearance on the next OS release......just sayin!

  17. #17
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Frownland
    Posts
    1,454


    My third favorite HTM album.
    My favorite fortune cookie read: "The only way to be successful on the internet is the keep the assholes preventing valuable discussion and eliminate the discussion itself."

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  18. #18
    Member bill g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Near Mount Rainier
    Posts
    2,325
    Pretty solid album to me. As usual, my favorites tend to be Frank Wyatt compositions. So maybe not their finest, but an enjoyable listen nonetheless, as are the two Oblivion Sun albums.

  19. #19
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Kingdom of YHVH
    Posts
    2,739
    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Watson View Post
    Love it. Not quite "Crafty Hands", but signature HTM nonetheless! Stan's singing sometimes gets a bad rap, but I personally love his style and it fits perfectly in their music. I'm very much influenced musically by these guys!
    what he said... but... I *do* get the feeling that they were "referencing themselves" on this reunion
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  20. #20
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northeast Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    820
    The second Oblivion Sun album misses the talents of Bill Plummer. He added great keyboards and nice compositions and really reminds me a bit of Kit Watkins musically while providing his own stamp on things.

  21. #21
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    1,222
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    The second Oblivion Sun album misses the talents of Bill Plummer. He added great keyboards and nice compositions and really reminds me a bit of Kit Watkins musically while providing his own stamp on things.
    'Course you could ask him about that. (PE member - "beepAGAIN ")
    Regards,

    Duncan

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kalamazoo Michigan
    Posts
    5,332
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    LONG time fan here.

    this is all imo:

    Quite good album.

    Great to incredible live shows. I probably didn't see as many as John 'the beast' Battema, but I saw at least half a dozen.

    They spent too long on the album and 'tweezed & waxed it' more than they probably should have to keep the energy intact. I saw their final show (at Progday) where they played the entire album and it was really strong and great & had more life and spirit than the album versions of the same tunes.

    Still, a good album.
    Pretty much my opinion exactly. Live the material had more balls (for lack of a better word). I enjoy the album, but I agree that in the end a less polished version of the album might have worked a bit better. Still it is well worth owning.

  23. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kalamazoo Michigan
    Posts
    5,332
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    I *thought* that the band had professionally recorded one or two of the shows for a release at some point (if true, those plans are long since scuttled).

    A live track from the reunion appeared on a limited-run ProgDay benefit CD a few years back...'Service with a Smile' if memory serves.
    My memory is getting hazy, but I am about 90% sure that the ProgDay show was recorded. Mike Potter would probably remember for sure if he gets in on this thread.

  24. #24
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Fluffy Cloud
    Posts
    4,069
    They contacted me at one point about a live album combined with Muse Awakens, which has been out of print for a long time now, but ultimately, no one in the band could agree on anything regarding the live album, so nothing happened.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  25. #25
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Philly burbs PA
    Posts
    1,132
    I owned it briefly a long time ago. I remember it being very similar to their first two proper albums(s/t & crafter hands)that is to say a mix of prog, fusion and new age. This one seemed a bit heavier on the new age sounding stuff though. I remember it being pretty good but not on par with the seventies albums.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •